Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm trying, I'm trying

Another busy week means not much blogging. I'm reminded for some reason of this passage in Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential:
...I worked with a chef who used to step behind the line to a dirty cook's station in the middle of the rush to explain why the offending cook was falling behind. He'd press his palm down on the cutting board, which was littered with peppercorns, spattered sauce, bits of parsley, breadcrumbs and the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates quickly on a station if not constantly wiped away with a moist side-towel. 'You see this?', he'd inquire, raising his palm so that the cook could see the bits of dirt and scraps sticking to his chef's palm, 'That's what the inside of your head looks like now. Work clean!'  
Working clean, constantly wiping and cleaning, is a desirable state of affairs for the conscientous line cook. That chef was right: messy station equals messy mind. 
I don't know if my hood is clean (answer: not really), but the inside of my head is definitely messy.  


  1. My motto: "A clean lab bench a sign of a lazy chemist."

    1. Or maybe a difficult EHS group

    2. Actually it's the opposite. A messy lab bench means you're too lazy and unorganized to keep it from looking like a chemical waste site. It's not that hard or time consuming to have a bench that's relatively clear, intermediates in vials and things organized. Everything else is an excuse for being too lazy to do so.

      If where you live is messy, you're too lazy to clean. Same for work.

  2. I'm fairly sure my boss might scalp me if I ever mentioned that line, attributed to Berzelius, that ClutchChemist is quoting. And I'm glad of it - I have discovered things are faster and easier when your bench is clean.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20